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Tabletop Challenge... Part Two

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

photo- GiraffeManor,Kenya

August Blog is Tabletop Challenge! Re-creating designer table scapes for less.

We continue this month with Tabletop Challenge Part Two featuring the last four tabletop budget friendly re-creations; Cottagecore, Farmhouse, French Country and a Surprise Tabletop.

Let's see how it all went down.

Fifth Tabletop Challenge: Cottagecore

"inspo" photo- domino/StephenKentJohnson

"I followed the beaten path into the forest from my vine covered cottage, I stumbled upon juicy, ripe raspberries & blueberries. As I ventured deeper in the woods I discovered wild mushrooms hidden under mossy logs......."

Sounds wonderful huh? The perfect Cottagecore scenario. We learned about the Cottagecore design trend in my January Blog, celebrating nature and living a simpler life, that is the Cottagecore aesthetic.

Well, I did not forage the forest for my meal, but I did the next best thing, and explored my local farmers market! There I discovered berries and cherries of every kind, wild mushrooms and crusty artisan breads! This wonderful Cottagecore "inspo" table is set with designer John Derian "Chanterelle" plates. And my challenge was to create the same organic, beautiful feel, for less.

Note: This John Derian designer table is valued well over $1000 for dinnerware alone.

Learn more about Designer John Derian here

Here is how the Cottagecore Tabletop Challenge turned out! I love how everything is so organic and natural!

Notice how my table scape is not an exact replica of the original photo, but the elements are similar. Naturals, splashes of red, and food as the centerpiece. I chose mushroom napkins as opposed to the mushroom plates, which are darling, but were out of my budget. I have a large collection of stemware, these glasses look vintage and similar to the "inspo" photo. I sprinkled a few mushroom figurines around the table for whimsy. Finally, I chose wood slice placemats to give a nod to Cottagecore forest foraging.

When I returned from the farmers market with my goods, I created this wonderful wild mushroom risotto. After taking photos of my Cottagecore Tabletop, I sat down and enjoyed this deliciuos meal of artisan bread, berries and homemade risotto. It was so fresh and divine!👉

Wild Mushroom Risotto Recipe here

Check out the next week's DIY Blog

for homemade Rosemary Sea Salt Rustic bread recipe for your Cottagecore table. photo-whatsgabycooking

photo- cupofsugarpinchofsalt

Cottagecore Table Challenge Breakdown:

Silverware-my cupboard (IKEA)

Plates- my cupboard (IKEA purchase years ago)

Mushroom Napkins set/6-$18 (AMZ)here

Wood Slices Set- 4/$25 (*AMZ used)

*look for free shipping, rates can get ridiculous for heavier items

Mushroom Wood Figurines- $8.88 (AMZ)here

Glasses Set /4, acrylic- $7.99 ( Home Goods)

Votives- my cupboard

Framers Market Berries & Bread -$15

Risotto supplies- $5


Sixth Tabletop Challenge: Farmhouse

inspo photo- jessicapursell/pinterest

The Farmhouse Decor style celebrated by beloved designer, Joanna Gaines, is one of the most popular design trends today. I love the simplicity and the "modern farmhouse" edge the bold black pieces bring to this Farmhouse table. Note: This designer table scape sourced value, around $300.

My version does not have designer pottery, but the glass plates on the black chargers seem to work! Just as much a Farmhouse look as the "inspo" photo. Take a peek!

Buffalo Plaid and Rae Dunn dishes says, Farmhouse!

I found the Rae Dun Appetizer Plates, set/4 on a new website to me, called Mercari. They sell new and used items like they do on Ebay. Of course my Rae Dunn plates say, "Nibble", not "Eat", but they are the same message and look. I painted 2 unfinished birdhouses white, instead of Rae Dunn birdhouses for the background, and tied a grosgrain ribbon on top like the inspo photo. (Often just the same pop of color will give you the same feeling as the actual product). The black birdhouses for the centerpiece, were unfinished, hand painted as well. I placed them on top of my cake plate for height. You could even stack them on a bundle of books, or rustic crate. The birch candle holders are from my home. Buffalo plaid napkins and burlap runner are from a wedding supply site, Efavormart. Such a great resource for table linens. Window pane frames in the background, are from my craft show prop stash. I made the garland from a left over napkin. Look for my DIY Blog next week to learn how you can make this buffalo plaid garland.

Farmhouse Table Breakdown:

Napkins- $3.29 set/5 (Efavormart)

Rae Dun Set 4 Appetizer Plates- $13 (Mercari)

Chargers- my cupboard (can find at Hobby Lobby 1.99ea)

Placemats- 4/$16 r.k.c Woven Placemats here

Greenery- $16.99 (Micheals)

Burlap runner- $5.00 (Efavormart)

Birdhouses all 5- $19.47 total(Michaels)

Birch Candleholders- my cupboard

Window Pane Art- my show prop, (purchased on AMZ last year for $15.00)

Total: $73.75

*A signature Farmhouse Style must have... buffalo plaid!

*optional - background bowl; Farmhouse decorative rope balls- 3/$12 r.k.c Collection here basket bowl- r.k.c Collection here $30

Seventh Tabletop Challenge: French Country

inspo photo- tohavetohost

"Viens diner avec moi", Come dine with me!

The french blue linens paired with the yellow lemons, is so fresh and inviting!

Note:This designer table values over $3500. Designer details here

I reversed the colors for my table re-creation. Again, you don't have to replicate every single placement of items to achieve the same look.

I chose a lemon themed table runner, then layered navy plate chargers onto woven placemats for texture and the chargers bring in more of the french blue I am missing in the table runner I chose.

To repeat more french blue, I added blue and white napkins on top of solid white plates.

I created designer "knockoff" lemon napkin rings, which I will share step by step in next week's DIY Blog.

Finally the french blue glasses bring the color scheme all together. For the centerpiece I used my r.k.c Driftwood Votives for mini flower vases to mimic the rattan votives in the "inspo" photo, and a bowl of lush lemons from my local grocer.

*You can even use simple clear glass vases for the roses and achieve the same look for less.

(inset photo). 👆

French Country Re-creation

French Table Challenge breakdown:

Lemon Table Runner- $10.00 (Michaels)

Napkins- set/4 $25.00 r.k.c Indigo Napkin Set here

Goblets, acrylic- $18.00 set/6 (Wayfair)

Navy chargers-$15.49 set/6 (Tablecloth factory)

Napkin rings DIY- $10 (Michaels)

White table cloth- my cupboard

Candle Votives- my cupboard

2 Driftwood Votives- $30/$15 ea. r.k.c Diftwood Votives here

Fresh flowers- $10.00 Supermarket Floral

Total: $118.49

*beautiful paper napkins will work as well, especially if you are alfresco for your meal!

Budget friendly glass vases for the flowers can substitute for he wooden centerpiece vases .

The Eighth Challenge: Surprise Table!

I could not resist!

I had to do a table setting with beautiful paper plates that are available on the market today! I was inspired by one Thanksgiving holiday, we did a beautiful setting with paper plates to make clean up easy. We added flowers, candles, all the bells and whistles, and honestly you would have never known by looking at our table setting, that it was with paper products! This "English Garden" paper plate set from Meri Meri looks like china. They even have the mix and match patterns that are so on trend now. They are perfect for last minute tea parties, showers, business meetings or holidays. I added paper doilies for an extra layer. Just combine your own glassware, table cloths or chargers and you have a sophisticated look! I borrowed many of the principles I learned from all of the other tabletop challenges to complete this look.

I am thrilled how this turned out!

PS. Don't forget to iron your table bad🤭(oops!)

I love the idea of dessert as your centerpiece! A cupcake tower does the trick, it gives height and color!

Check out this Fresh Raspberry Cupcake Recipe next in the Tabletop Challenge Part Two DIY Blog


Surpise Tabletop Challenge Breakdown:

English Garden Paper Plates Set/8- ( $17.50

12" Doily Placemats pack/24- $6.99 (AMZ)

Linens, glasses, candles, chargers, cupcake tier - my cupboard

Total: $24.49

That completes our August Tabletop Challenge! Do you have a favorite? I really learned a lot about creating beautiful table scapes and floral arrangements. The key to unique table scapes and one of a kind floral centerpieces, is LAYERS. If you can breakdown the designs that inspire you into steps or layers, it becomes less intimidating. You can switch out your color scheme of your design inspiration photo, and use the same design elements. For example; The Farmhouse Tabletop Challenge could be done with an off white theme, with rustic touches, pillow ticking and all white birdhouses.

Hope you have enjoyed this week's blog! Next week Tabletop Challenge Part Two DIY.

Happy decorating!


photos; Cover-Weddingwire, Cover-giraffemanor,kenya, Eggplant-Secretwindowfloral, Garden-CamilleStyles, French-ToHaveToHost, Farmhouse-JessicaPursell, Cottagecore-Domino, Modern-MrBowlCeramics, Beach-RobynVanDukePhotography Recipes;GiggleJuice, KitchenFunWithMy3Sons, RosemaryBread-CupofSugarPinchofSalt, Quotes;Carol'sCountrySunshine, Products; Amazon, Michaels, Mercari, Efavormart, TableclothFactory, HomeGoods, Wayfair, Lowes, , RaspberryCupcakes; cookingontheweekends

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